It was a good week in the fishing world. We saw some better reports off the Vedder early in the week. Things slowed down a bit yesterday but with some precipitation in the forecast and then warmer weather it should be improving. Squamish fished well earlier in the week but it has dropped and was a challenge for Matt who was out fishing yesterday. Check out all our freshwater reports for further details on the local rivers.
On the saltwater front we have been busy again this week working to get our boats in top shape for the spring season. While things have not been red hot, if you were able to time your trips to get out on the water when it was calm there were definitely some fish to be had.
We’ve all been thinking of steelhead so with that in mind our Friday Feature Product this week is jigs and all things jigs related. That means come down to the shop, pick out some of our custom jigs or tell the guys you are tying jig patterns and all jig related tying materials are 10% off.
Finally, our March classes are starting to fill up quickly so don’t wait to grab your spot. Andre will be teaching two of our most popular tying courses. His chironomid and epoxy fry pattern courses are the perfect opportunity to get started filling your fly boxes for the upcoming season. Also, due to popular demand we have added another Introduction to Fly Tying course as well. Read on for the details on these classes and all the others we are offering in March and we’ll see you at the tying bench or on the water with us.
CLASSES AND COURSES
Tying Chironomid Fly Patterns
80% of a trout’s diet consists of chironomids whose patterns vary from lake to lake. This 3-hour evening seminar will teach you how to tie a variety of the most effective chironomid patterns used in BC’s world-renowned lakes. You will finish this course understanding the very specific technical aspects ranging from beads, ribbing, colors, and body shapes. Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A 10% discount is available on materials and tools purchased for the course.
Date: Mar 6
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Tying Epoxy Fry Patterns
Epoxy fly patterns were developed here on the west coast to capitalize on the large fry emergence every spring. Pacific Angler will help you unlock the secrets to applying epoxy, which can be a very tricky material to work with. During the course your instructor will teach you how to imitate the different salmon fry species, the different methods to shaping bodies, adding eyes, and other important techniques. Course is suitable for intermediate/advanced tiers. Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A 10% discount is available on materials and tools purchased for the course.
Dates: Mar 7
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Winter Steelhead On The Fly
Fishing for winter steelhead on the fly (single hand or Spey) is arguably one of the most challenging and rewarding fisheries in BC. Let our steelhead gurus help you unlock the mysteries of these magical fish with their decades of steelhead guiding knowledge. This course consists of a 3hr evening seminar and 1 full day of guided fishing on the water. In the seminar we will go over rods, reels, lines, sink tips, flies and reading water and swung fly techniques. The fully guided day on the water we will be work on casting, reading water and swinging the fly.
Dates: Seminar: Mar 8 Guided: Mar 11 or 12 – Sold out – call and get added to the waitlist for future dates!
Introduction To Fly Tying
There is no greater satisfaction than catching a fish with a fly you tied yourself. This course was specifically designed to give you the fundamental skills needed to tie proven fly patterns used here in BC for trout, salmon, and steelhead. This course consists of 3 sessions; each session is 3hrs. Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A 10% discount is available on materials and tools purchased for the course.
Dates: Mar 13, Mar 20 and Mar 27
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Introduction to Fly Fishing
This course was specifically designed to give the new fly fisher the basic knowledge, casting skills and fly fishing strategies to effectively fish our local BC waters. This course is comprised of two sessions; 3hr evening seminar and a 3hr casting session. The dates below show the seminar date first and casting date second.
Dates: Mar 22 & 26
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 2pm -5pm
Fly Fishing for Searun Cutthroat Trout in Rivers
This spring make sure to get out and take advantage of the world-class cutthroat fishing in the Lower Mainland. This cutthroat course is designed to educate you on the life cycle, location, seasonal feeding habits, and successful techniques and flies used to catch these elusive yet aggressive fish. This course consists of a 3hr evening seminar and a fully guided day on the water
Dates: Seminar Mar 28 Guided: Apr 1 or Apr 2
Seminar Apr 3 Guided: Apr 8 or 9
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
FRIDAY FEATURE PRODUCT
With steelhead season in full swing, as well as the salmon season coming up later this year, many anglers usually have a few (if not tons) of jigs in their arsenal. From small float fishing jigs to larger twitching jigs, most angler have floated, drifted, or twitched jigs at one point or another in their life and often with good success.
Usually crafted from various natural materials such as rabbit and marabou, the tantalizing and undulating movement of jigs, combined with their flash, often prove to be the ticket to success. For this week’s feature product, we are featuring all things jigs!
From jig hooks to pin kits, all the way to the feathers and fur used for them (and all the flash in between), all jigs and jig tying material will be 10% off! Come on in to the shop to see our vast selection of hooks and materials used to create these fantastic fish-tempting jigs!
Sale prices are in effect from Friday February 24, 2017 through Thursday March 2, 2017
FRESHWATER FISHING REPORTS
Vedder River Fishing Report
Over this past week, we have seen some very high water conditions on the Chilliwack system. While the water is still high, the clarity is about 4-6ft of visibility in the lower river. Some anglers saw some good fishing earlier in the week, however, the clear and sunny conditions have made things tough in recent days. Hopefully things pick up in the near future once the water drops. Fish are spread throughout the system, so pick an area and get to know it well. The high water has definitely made fishing more challenging, as many spots that fished well under low water are flowing too fast to hold fish.
Larger floats, and short, stout leaders are important for getting your presentation down, and landing your fish in heavy current once you have hooked it. 35gram floats, large split shot, and 15-20lb Seaguar Fluorocarbon or 12-15lb Maxima Ultragreen leaders are the norm in high water. Presentation such as medium BC orange Gooey Bobs, 4″ pink worms, and “spin n glos” are good choices.
Capilano River Fishing Report
The Capilano has resumed low water levels after that blow out last week. New fish will have moved into the system so fishing should continue to be decent for the next little bit. This is a short river so even though this is a small population of steelhead, it is not out of the question to find fish. Please keep in mind that this is a much more fragile run than those of the more popular hatchery-enhanced fisheries in the Lower Mainland so treat all fish you do come across with care. Since the water is so low, casting and retrieving lures or flies can be a good option in slack water. Drift fishing the traditional steelhead baits and flies can work if you find some current as fish may be seeking refuge under the white water.
Squamish River Fishing Report
We fished the upper Squamish yesterday. The weather was perfect and with a good four wheel drive you could access the upper road quite easily. The warm weather has beaten the snow level down and in the morning the cold night had frozen the snow making hiking on top of the 1.5 feet of snow quite easy.
Unfortunately, that’s where the good news ends. The river is on the low side and getting clear. We had about 5 feet of visibility. Any time the Squamish is clear, it means cold water and if you have been reading my report over the last few years you will know how much I believe that the bull trout’s slow metabolism is affected by cold water.
We were hopeful that the odd salmon fry might be moving in the shallow water but I did not see any in the section of river we fished. It warmed up nicely in the middle of the day and any day we might see the salmon fry start to hatch in numbers – it just wasn’t yesterday. When the fry start hatching, the trout population in the Squamish will become more active.
In these conditions sculpin patterns are the best bet. We were gambling and looking for steelhead with larger pink, black and blue, and white flies but I had hoped to hook more than a couple bull trout while swinging the steelhead flies. From what I saw, I think it is a little early for steelhead in the upper river and we need a weather change or a fry hatch to turn on the bull trout fishery. This time of year one day can make the difference.
For you guys and girls heading out this weekend, take a look at the upper river but I would recommend gambling on the lower river. There are way less trout in the lower river but the chances of a steelhead are higher. It is a long shot but a gamble worth taking. It looks like we have some precipitation in the forecast early next week. Some rain could shuffle things up again. It will be interesting to hear reports from this weekend. Let me know if you see fry coming out if you choose to brave the upper river.
If you are fly fishing swing pink, black and blue or orange flies in relatively large sizes for the lower river. If you are float fishing, a pink worm or medium gooey bob with white and chartreus wool are two of my favorites. When the fry hatch things will change fast. You never know when it will happen. I would guess any day. When it happens, fry patterns are a must in every fly box as well as Colorado blades for the steelhead angler fishing a float.
Stave River Fishing Report
This system can be a fun little river to fish if you are interested in potentially hooking into a variety of species. While it is short, the Stave is home to mountain whitefish, Steelhead, and a variety of trout. Generally down-sized baits, lures, and flies can be deadly for the smaller fish and the larger presentations will attract more Steelhead, though this is most definitely not a hard and fast rule of thumb. Try egg patterns, spoons, jigs, and streamers to cater to the many species in these waters.
Cutthroat Fishing Primer
The cutthroat fishing should start in the next couple of weeks. I will be scouting soon to see how the rivers are and if there are any fry out yet. Usually, mid March and onwards the cutthroat fishing is on, but due to the cold winter weather we have been having, things could heat up a little bit later than expected. When the river level drops one can walk and wade and explore more areas on the river. As soon as we get a steady temperature of 10-12 C the fry should start hatching.
If you are eager to get out sooner than later it is a good idea to have some alvin patterns in you fly box as the cutthroat will feed on them near the bottom, later on as the fry emerge to the top look for any signs of fish slashing fry on top. The next two months is an exciting time for die hard cutthroat fisherman who love the thrill of the tug on your light tackle. Although little spinners sometimes work, ideally you want to fly fish for these voracious sea-run cutthroat as they key in on a certain hatch, which you have to figure out while fishing. The ideal set up is 4 or 5 weight rod with a floating line and a 10-12 ft 4lb leader.
Make sure you have a variety of salmon fry patterns and march browns in your box as they are known to get picky sometimes. If you can, refrain from blind casting and look for a rise, anything as a small dimple or if you’re lucky, the ultimate thrill, a chasing hungry cutthroat gorging and slashing fry on top of the water.
SALTWATER FISHING REPORTS
Fishing this past week was much like the last week. Not red hot, but if you were able to get out on the days where the wind wasn’t too bad, there were some fish around. Howe Sound has been producing a few fish and so has Vancouver Harbour, primarily the Cap mouth on the flood and the freighters or Bell Buoy area on the ebb or flood. Things often pick up around the Bell Buoy in mid March, so keep that on your radar if you are tired of the longer runs up Howe Sound. We didn’t make it across to the Gulf Islands this week, but we have heard of some decent catches on that side.
On the tackle side of things, not much has changed. The bait has been on the bottom for the most part, so that means keep your gear on the bottom as well. Glow flashers such as the Salty Dawg and Green Onion Glow are always good choices. For spoons we have been using the Pesca Forage 3.5 and the Pesca RSG 3.5 in colours that have some glow, green, black and blue on them. Although we haven’t been fishing hootchies that much, some others have with good success. The splatter back series in glow with green, or blue seems to be working well.
We’re finishing up the install on one of the boats this weekend and looking forward to trying the new electronics. If you have any questions about Lowrance products, such as HDS Gen 3 units, auto pilot systems, or transducers, give me a call as we will be bring all these items in soon and becoming a Lowrance dealer.
See you in the shop or on the water.